Nelson man ‘prisoner in his own home’

Photo Neil Cross'Geoffrey Richardson requesting a ramp to help with access to his home in Hemingway Place, Nelson

Photo Neil Cross'Geoffrey Richardson requesting a ramp to help with access to his home in Hemingway Place, Nelson

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A Nelson couple are asking for an access ramp to be provided at their home to prevent a man becoming “a prisoner in his own home”.

Geoffrey Richardson and his wife, Jacqueline, of Hemingway Place, currently have to negotiate a flight of steps to gain access to the communal car park which serves the small housing complex.

Mr Richardson (75), is a type 1 diabetic, has arthritis in his feet, is epileptic and uses a wheelchair.

Whenever the couple want to go out, Mrs Richardson (63) has to lift the wheelchair – and her husband – up and down stairs, something which family friend Steve Allen said was “one hell of a struggle”. Mr Allen said Mr Richardson had to go to hospital recently after an onset of hyperglaecmia and it took two paramedics to get him into the ambulance, and apparently they even called the situation “pathetic”.

Mr Allen picked Mr Richardson up from the hospital, and it took three people to get him back up the steps.

Mrs Richardson said: “We have asked Housing Pendle (the owners of the land outside their home) for help but without success, and also looked into whether we could get a grant from Lancashire County Council.

“All we are asking for is a ramp to help us get in and out of the house. It is not too bad at this time of year when the weather is not too good, but if nothing is done when the summer comes, Geoffrey is going to be a virtual prisoner in his own home.

“It is not really an appropriate situation to be in.”

Janette Taylor, Head of Housing Pendle, said: “We are sorry but we are unable to help with any adaptations.

“This isn’t one of our homes and we are unable to carry out any adaptations externally because of the limited space.

“We have explained this to Mr Richardson who could apply to move to a more suitable property with Housing Pendle through the B-with-us lettings scheme.”